How to Set Up an Nginx Certbot

Originally published at: How to Set Up an Nginx Certbot

If you are looking to automate the process of obtaining, installing, and updating TLS/SSL certificates on your web server, then Let’s Encrypt is a very useful tool. It is a certificate authority (CA) that comes packaged with a corresponding software client, Certbot, that will automatically install TLS/SSL certificates. This means that you can run encrypted HTTPS…

What if nginx is inside a docker container and everything is set up by docker compose? This is a common case in many installation guides.

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If Nginx is running inside a Docker container and your entire web server setup with Docker Compose, there are a few adjustments. Here’s how you can adapt the process outlined in the article for this common scenario:

  1. Docker Compose Configuration:
  • Make sure your Nginx container is defined in your docker-compose.yml file. You would typically have a service for Nginx and another for your application.
  • Ensure that the Nginx container is linked to your application container so that Nginx can route requests to your application.
  1. Port Mapping:
  • When defining the Nginx service in the docker-compose.yml file, map the ports appropriately. For example, if your Nginx container exposes port 80 for HTTP and 443 for HTTPS, map those ports to the host.
  1. Volumes:
  • Use Docker volumes to share the SSL certificates with the Nginx container. This ensures that your SSL certificates remain persistent even if the Nginx container is restarted.
  1. Nginx Configuration:
  • Inside the Nginx container, you should have a custom Nginx configuration file. This file should be mounted as a volume from your host machine or a volume container. This configuration file should specify the SSL certificate paths and other Nginx settings.
  1. Certbot and Renewal:
  • To use Certbot within a Dockerized Nginx setup, you would typically run Certbot in a separate container or use a Certbot image. When you run Certbot, it should be aware of the Nginx container, and it should share the necessary volumes for the SSL certificates.
  • To automate the certificate renewal process, you can create a cron job within a separate container that runs Certbot to renew the certificates as needed.
  1. Firewall Rules:
  • Ensure that your Docker host has the necessary firewall rules to allow traffic on ports 80 and 443, which are required for Let’s Encrypt’s challenges.

The main difference is in how you handle the configuration and integration within the Docker ecosystem, but the core principles of SSL certificate management and Nginx setup remain the same.

Let me know if/how you are able to get this to work